I purchased a HIS 7850 HD video card that was set to the AMD reference specs. XFX released a “black edition” of the 7850. The only difference I can see is that they have overclocked the graphics core (from 860 to 975 MHz) and the memory timings (from 1200 to 1250 MHZ). The Tech Report benchmarked the black edition cards and were underwhelmed. I just overclocked my stock card to the black edition timings, and I received a nice 10% bump on the Alien vs Predator benchmark (from 38 to 42 fps).
I don’t have much respect for XFX and other companies that sell these pre-overclocked cards. They are just taking advantage of the naivety of their customers.
In other news, the new AMD drivers have finally fixed the display problems in Rage. After installing the 12.3 Catalyst drivers and running Rage on my new card, I was able to play the game without tearing or artifacts. How long did this take?